When it comes to dieting, the best diet is the one you will stick to. What I mean by that is quite simply, the best diet is individualized and consisting of foods that you personally enjoy and tolerate.
I’m not a huge fan of cutting any foods out altogether as I don’t think it’s a realistic long term strategy, however here is a list of the top 4 that I try to avoid as much as I can on a regularly basis.
Gluten – Gluten is a family of proteins found in many grains which acts as a binder or glue holding food together and giving it a stretchy quality. Generally gluten is used in the production of many processed foods which are not the best for our overall health. Gluten is also responsible for contributing to weight gain, bloating, joint pain and more amongst not only those with celiac disease, but also those who have a gluten intolerance. Most importantly gluten tends to have an overall negative impact on the lining of our gut due to it’s “sticky” nature and the resulting inflammation that it causes. If you’re going to eat gluten, it would be advisable to limit your consumption.
Dairy is second on my list because it is not generally tolerated by the masses. While there are some health benefits such as calcium and other vitamins and minerals that are associated with its consumption, the fact that most of the world’s population actually lacks the enzyme to break down lactose makes me question it’s true benefits. This once again leads to GI distress which causes gas, bloating amongst a series of other unpleasant issues.
Sugar is an obvious one for this list. I do however think I will make a distinction between fructose found in fruits and the processed sugars we find in candy and baked goods. People have argued about this for years but I do not view the two as equal. They have different effects on the body. Processed sugar has been linked to higher instances of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Excess consumption has also been linked to depression, dementia, liver disease, and certain types of cancer. Processed sugar also tends to have many “addictive” qualities which make our bodies crave them.
Last but not least on my listed is processed seed oils i.e. vegetable oil, canola oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil or any other highly oxidized oils which is found as the oil of choice for cooking in most restaurants. Seed oils are highly processed and extremely high in Omega 6 fatty acids. They are also very high in poly unsaturated fats which can cause inflammation and toxic accumulation in the body. They can contribute to heart disease, diabetes, auto immunity, and many other chronic health conditions.
There are certainly other things which are probably not the best for human consumption but I think this list rounds things out well. I’m not suggesting that you avoid all of these completely, but consider choosing to eat each of these in moderation to know how they impact you.